Following another legislative blitzkrieg, President Mohamed Morsi has declared Egypt's election season open, again, setting a series of dates for parliamentary voting this summer. That means we're finally approaching the last step in a long and torturous transition (or, perhaps, we're just two years into something that's going to last far longer and be far more torturous, but let's not dwell on that prospect).
Following the Supreme Constitutional Court's rejection of parliament's draft election law on half a dozen grounds on Tuesday, the Shura Council swiftly applied lipstick to the pig and sent an ostensibly revised law on its way. Except they didn't send the law back to the court for review, but instead to President Morsi, who immediately signed it and issued Presidential Decision 134 of 2013, ringing the bell on the elections. Legal experts have already warned that bypassing a second go-round at the court may have strapped a constitutional time bomb to the election, as Egypt is now operating with an election law that may or may not be legally sound, but we'll let that slide for now. Here's how the marathon parliamentary election will go:
Round One [Note: These dates were changed from 4/27 and 4/28 after the Morsi administration realized they fell during Coptic Christian Easter.] (April 22 and 23; runoffs April 29 and 30): Cairo, Beheira, Minya, Port Said, North Sinai.
Round Two (May 15 and 16; runoffs May 22 and 23): Giza, Alexandria, Sohaig, Beni Suef, Aswan, Suez, Red Sea, New Valley.
Round Three (June 2 and 3; runoffs June 9 and 10): Daqaleya, Qalyubeya, Monofeya, Qena, Damietta, Luxor, Matrouh, South Sinai.
Round Four (June 19 and 20; runoffs June 26 and 27): Sharqeya, Gharbeya, Assiut, Kafr el-Sheikh, Fayoum, Ismailia.
First sitting of the Chamber of Deputies: July 6th, 11am (yes, it specifies the time).
Are you excited?